The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex NYC, a branch of Cleveland’s famed music museum, opened Nov. 25 with a dose of punk rock – an exhibit honoring The Clash.
The Clash show, “Revolution Rock,” runs through spring and the Annex will feature temporary exhibitions that change about twice a year.
The Hall of Fame museum teamed with Running Subway, Jam Exhibitions and S2BN Entertainment, the new company Michael Cohl now leads following his departure as chairman of Live Nation, according to the New York Times.
Running Subway has produced Broadway’s “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” and multimedia concerts that pair live orchestras alongside Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland films.
The NYC Annex is financed by the partners, who will operate it, while the museum will have oversight of all aspects. The new museum has been under way for two years.
If the Annex is a success, its three-year lease will be renewed.
The New York Rocks room includes items such as seven Ringo Starr drum skins bearing the Beatles logo and a ’57 Cadillac Bruce Springsteen bought with one of his first big paychecks as well as memorabilia from CBGB after the legendary nightclub closed in October 2006.
CBGB’s original awning hangs in the room and the Annex also includes a wooden phone box plastered in stickers and a urinal from the nightclub’s bathroom.
The Clash exhibit includes a 1959 Gibson Les Paul Junior guitar that Mick Jones played on the band’s first record and a 1966 Fender Telecaster bandmate Joe Strummer played until his death in 2002, according to the New York Post.
Throughout the museum other memorabilia gems include letters between a teenage Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, Elvis Presley’s motorcycle jacket and Bible, David Byrne’s suit from the film “Stop Making Sense,” Tina Turner’s blue sequined dress from her final tour with Ike, Michael Jackson’s handwritten lyrics to “Billie Jean” and Prince’s coat from “Purple Rain,” according to the Times.
Some items are borrowed from Cleveland’s museum and others, like a tape of a private Bob Dylan show in 1961, are being put on display for the first time.
Visitors to the museum will enter the Annex in 15-minute intervals, beginning the tour of a seven-screen “immersive theater” that looks like a small club, complete with stools. Visitors’ headsets will play music programmed for each exhibit, as well as sound for videos, through each of the six galleries.
A tour through rock ’n’ roll’s history will cost $26 and take about 90 minutes. In Cleveland it’s $22 in exchange for a tour that takes four or five hours.
Terry Steward, the president of the museum, said more annexes are being considered for other cities, including Memphis, according to the Times.